Hunger strikes in Maze Prison will go on until the British government negotiates with jailed Irish nationalists over prison conditions, supporters of the strikers declared yesterday.
Patrick McGeown, a convicted bomber, was to join the Irish Republican Army's hunger strike today, replacing Joe McConnell, who was to be buried with full IRA "military honors."
Police said security forces were on alert for a renewal of violance after the funeral of the 30-year-old McConnell, whose death on the 61st day of his fast Wednesday touched off violence in which three people were filled.
Snipers fought gunbattles with security forces in the Ardoyne area after a 15-year-old Catholic, David Barret, was shot dead by British soldiers.
Norah McCabe, 30, a Roman Catholic mother of three, died after being hit in the forehead by a rubber bullet fired by troops Wednesday. John Dempsey, 16, was shot and killed in the rioting.
At a news conference outside the Maze, Bernadetter Devlin McAliskey said the British must bear the responsibility for the deaths of McConnell and four other hunger strikers. "The only way the hunger strike can be resolved is by direct negotiations between the government and the prisoners themselves," she said. Others said the strikes would go on. The British have refused direct talks with the prisoners, who are demanding special treatment